Legislators Learn About Preschool Early Intervention
On March 17, several state legislators attended a “Lunch and Learn” session at the DCIU Marple Education Center where they learned more about preschool early intervention (EI) and the impact the program has on families and school districts in Delaware County. EI provides much needed services to enable children with disabilities or developmental delays to make great strides before entering Kindergarten.
The Preschool Early Intervention program faces serious state budget challenges and has been flat-funded since 2008, yet the number of children needing services and the level of those services continue to rise. The legislators, who had a chance to visit some of the children and see them in action, were asked for their support of increased EI funding in the 2016-2017 state budget. Without this increase, Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Units (the primary providers of EI services in the state) that provide this valuable service at no cost to families will be challenged to provide such assistance as speech and language learning or social-emotional developmental support.
Back row from l to r: Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D) 161st and Heather Boyd, Chief of Staff to Krueger-Braneky; Rep. Margo Davidson (D) 164th; Rep. Tom Killion (R) 168th; Rep. James Santora (R) 163rd; Jeannie Smyth, Staff of Rep. Bill Adolph.
Seated: Children (six of whom are in the EI program) and teachers in the YMCA Preschool Program at the DCIU Marple Education Center.